Bonagee United fly the Donegal flag in the Women’s FAI Intermediate Cup quarter-finals when they take on TEK United at Deansgrange, Dublin, on Sunday, kick-off 2pm.
Chantelle Grant scored the only goal of the game in the victory over back-to-back North West Women’s Super League champions Illies Celtic in the last round two weeks’ ago. It’s the furthest Bonagee have ever progressed in the national competition.
Manager Chris McNulty, who is assisted by Cathal McGinley from Glenree, has seen his team win six from six in the league this term and will be looking to come through tonight’s fixture against Lagan Harps with minimal fuss.
Maureen O’Donnell was part of the Kilmacrennan Celtic side that won this competition back in 2009 – a feat matched beforehand by Letterkenny Rovers in 1999 and 2001 and by Lagan Harps in 2010 – and has provided a valuable edge of experience since joining in May.
The team is skipped by striker Natalie McFadden, while goalkeeper Clare Friel’s clean sheet in the last round was only the second time Illies had failed to score in a game in three years, after their 1-0 loss to Fanad last season. Siobhan Sweeney will be looking to create from the right wing and Amy Boyd, Alice Diver and Deborah Kerrigan are all vital cogs.
Denise McElhinney has international caps at both underage and university level – playing alongside Katie Taylor, the current lightweight undisputed boxing champion of the world and 2012 gold medallist at the Olympics in London. Amy Boyd is another Bonagee player have been capped, in her case at schoolgirl level.
A familiar face in the TEK United squad is Natalie Sweeney, who played for Bonagee early in 2018 before moving to the capital and whose grandfather Paddy McFadden in 1970 was a founding member of the Dry Arch-based club.
Last season, Bonagee could only watch on as they lost out on any hope of the domestic league title in the penultimate match, having also been ousted from the Women’s FAI Intermediate Cup by Illies. This year, they have silverware in their sights.
“We’ve a motto this season that says ‘no regrets, no excuses,’” McNulty said. “That’s the attitude that we’re going to bring into Sunday’s match and we feel having reached this stage of this competition, we’d love to continue to good form we’ve shown this season to date.”
Bonagee United senior ladies squad:Clare Friel, Denise McElhinney, Maria Carr, Maureen O’Donnell, Suzanne Gordon, Kaneshia McKinney, Grainne Gallagher, Siobhan Sweeney, Caitlin Hume, Lauren Lynch, Claire Orr, Karen Henry, Chantelle Grant, Alice Diver, Amy Boyd, Niamh Wallace, Julie McCloy, Natalie McFadden, Deborah Kerrigan, Lyndsay McElchar, Denise Doherty, Anna Doherty, Cathriona Flynn.Tags: